Financial situation and mental health of students during Covid 19 pandemic in 2020 In 2020, four out of ten students were more likely to feel depressed than at normal times
11/24/2022 - In 2020, the Covid 19 pandemic and related measures have impacted the mental health of many college students. Between 30% and 49% of them - and more than at normal times reported symptoms related to depression and anxiety disorders or feelings of loneliness. In contrast, the pandemic had no impact on the financial situation of most students; however, it worsened for the most vulnerable groups. Students with an immigrant background and those in the Department of Music, Theatre and Other Arts were most affected. This is shown by the results of the thematic report on the university graduate survey prepared by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).
The publication examines the extent to which the Covid 19 pandemic and related measures have affected the financial situation and mental health of students graduating in 2020. According to the results, half (49%) reported experiencing feelings of nervousness, anxiety, or tension more often or much more often than at normal times during the pandemic. 42% felt lonely, 39% were more likely to feel down, depressed, or hopeless, 38% had little interest or pleasure in their activities, and 30% were unable to stop or control worry.
Mental health: women and young students most affected
43% of students in the youngest age group (up to 25 years) reported that they were more often or much more often depressed, depressed, or hopeless during the pandemic than at normal times. This proportion is less among older students, ranging from 26% to 35%. This age effect is also evident in the permanent resident population. In addition, there are differences by gender. For example, women were more likely to report being down, depressed, or hopeless than men (44% and 33%, respectively).
A minority used psychological support due to the pandemic
Only 2.9% of students reported having consulted a psychological support service or counseling center in 2020 due to the pandemic, although between 30% and 49% reported being affected by pandemic-related psychological problems. In contrast, 9.1% of students consulted a care service or counseling center in 2020 regardless of the pandemic.
A minority of students reported experiencing more financial difficulties in 2020 due to the pandemic than at normal times: 15% reported insufficient income to cover expenses, 6% reported outstanding bills, 6% reported a negative balance in their account, and 7% reported restrictions on basic needs.
Financial difficulties: Influencing factor migration background
Migration background is a risk factor: Among second-generation migration students, 17% faced insufficient income in 2020 due to the pandemic; among first-generation students with a Swiss admission card, the figure was 19%, and among those with a foreign admission card, 23%. By contrast, the figure for students without a migration background was 11%.
In 2020, only 2.5% of students received financial aid from their university in connection with the Covid 19 pandemic. The proportions for other extraordinary assistance vary between 0.5% for the indicators "scholarships/loans", "financial or material assistance from friends, neighbors or fellow students" and "material assistance from associations" and 4.9% for the indicator "financial or material assistance from family or partner".
Music, theater and other arts most affected
The financial situation of UAS students in the Department of Music, Theatre and Other Arts deteriorated sharply in 2020 in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic. One in two (51%) reported having insufficient income to cover expenses, and one in five (20%) faced restrictions on basic needs. If all students are considered, the percentages are 15% and 7%, respectively. 19.6% of Music, Theatre, and Other Arts students also received extraordinary financial aid from their college. In terms of mental health, 53% of them reported that they were more down, depressed, or hopeless than at normal times (compared to 39% for students overall).